Eastbourne Lib Dems react to ‘groundbreaking’ North Shropshire by-election win

The ‘groundbreaking’ by-election result in North Shropshire where the Lib Dems overturned a massive Conservative majority has been welcomed in Eastbourne.

Helen Morgan and Tim Farron of the Liberal Democrats celebrate the by-election win in North Shropshire (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Helen Morgan and Tim Farron of the Liberal Democrats celebrate the by-election win in North Shropshire (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Back in 2019, veteran Tory Owen Paterson had a majority of nearly 23,000 votes, but stood down as an MP after he was found to have breached parliamentary rules on lobbying.

Amidst growing anger over alleged Christmas parties last year both in Downing Street and other government departments, Lib Dem Helen Morgan was elected to Parliament this morning (Friday Decmeber 17).

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She finished more than 5,000 votes ahead of the Conservative challenger in one of the most extraordinary by-election results in recent years.

After her election, Ms Morgan said: “Tonight, the people of North Shropshire have spoken on behalf of the British people.

They have said loudly and clearly: ‘Boris Johnson, the party is over’.

“Your government, run on lies and bluster, will be held accountable. It will be scrutinised, it will be challenged and it can and will be defeated.

“Across the country, the Liberal Democrats are taking on the Conservatives and winning.”

The result represented a 34 per cent swing from the Conservatives in what has been described as the 58th safest Tory seat in the country.

The Eastbourne constituency has changed hands four times over the last four general elections.

It is currently represented by Conservative Caroline Ansell, but the Lib Dems will be hoping for only a fraction of the swing seen in North Shropshire when Eastbourne next goes to the polls.

Josh Babarinde is the Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate in Eastbourne.

Reacting to the North Shropshire result today, he said: “This groundbreaking by-election result must serve as a wake up call for Boris Johnson and Caroline Ansell.

“The public have said ‘enough is enough’ to the incompetence and double standards of the government that Mr Johnson leads and Mrs Ansell follows.

“I’ve been calling voters this week in North Shropshire as part of the Lib Dem campaign and their message to me has been the same as what folks in Eastbourne are saying to me: they want a vocal and visible MP with integrity who will stand up for local people and won’t take them for granted. That’s what I’m determined to be for our town.

“While this extraordinary result is welcome in what is a marginal seat between myself and Caroline Ansell, me and my local Lib Dem team will never stop rolling our sleeves to deliver for local people.”